You brush twice a day, floss regularly, and use good quality mouthwash. You visit the dentist on a regular basis. Still, your smile is just not as bright as you would like, often due to foods and drinks, nicotine, or other substances that can stain and discolor your teeth. Fortunately, there are many new options for teeth whitening available which are easy to use and available to brighten and whiten any smile.
Our Northridge dentist can explain your options when it comes to whitening procedures. Each treatment is designed to meet a different need. Some people have naturally whiter teeth or greater disparity in tooth color. Some have fillings and crowns which may be unaffected by whitening procedures.
The three basic methods of whitening all have advantages and disadvantages, but any procedure you use should carry the ADA seal of approval.
Chair-side bleaching, or professional whitening, is the quickest way to immediately brighten your smile. The dentist applies a special gel to the teeth, often enhancing the gel’s action by using a light to speed up the process.
Another method of whitening that is quite popular is at-home whitening, which can involve gels, trays, or plastic strips.
Whitening trays contain carbamide peroxide. Most tray treatments require the use of the product over a period of two weeks, sometimes twice a day. Our Northridge cosmetic dentist may also recommend a custom-fitted mouth guard to wear with gel applications to get the maximum benefit from the treatment.
Flexible plastic strips are another option. They contain a strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide which bleaches the teeth, providing rapid whitening. These strips are generally worn for about 30 minutes at a time over a period of several weeks.
A simpler option for whitening selected teeth is a brush-on or paint-on gel. This type of treatment requires you to paint the gel on the specified tooth then brush regularly.
The least invasive method of tooth whitening is whitening toothpaste, which can be used for an extended period of time to provide continual whitening action. While not as dramatic in its results as the other methods, the toothpaste method is generally less irritating and safer for long-term use than gels or bleaching.